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Poster: readerofbooks Date: Oct 29, 2012 2:14pm
Forum: texts Subject: How to tell if an item is copyrighted

OK, I'm sure this is every newbie's question, but how do I tell if an item is still under copyright? The websites I go to are so confusing and seem to give different answers.

Is there a quick and easy way?

Keep in mind, I'm not dealing with just books here but manuals, flyers, ephemera of all types, postcards (unused) from the 1940s and more.

I want to get as much of it uploaded here as possible.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgarthus1 Date: Oct 29, 2012 2:25pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: How to tell if an item is copyrighted

Generally almost none of that stuff is copyrighted or if it was had its copyright renewed. Back when our incompetent congress people passed the copyright revision law they thought that they did not have to worry about such works since they were thought to make up such a small percentage of all materials published before 1989. Little did they know that probably close to 90% of 'all' materials published before 1989 never had copyright status or if they did only a small percentage were ever renewed in a timely fashion.

You are on the right track though, almost all of this stuff is in the Public Domain and the quicker we get it up under the Creative Commons, the less likely some person will come along and try to tinker with the process. It is a shame that this stuff is allowed to be copyrighted today since what you are looking at is a major historical trove of knowledge about World Culture and its technological evolution. We can still privately archive such modern items (after 1989) but only privately if we are to adhere to legal interpretations. There are list which can be accessed on-line in order to check the copyright status of any of these items and I almost always refer to them before I place an item in the Archive. If you make a mistake, no need to worry, if the copyright holders notify the Archive it will be taken off-line. (This has happened to me only once and I have over 1654 items uploaded.

Gerry

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Poster: readerofbooks Date: Oct 29, 2012 2:37pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: How to tell if an item is copyrighted

OK! I will worry less and post more!